Tag Archives: summer food

Stuffed courgette flowers with a spicy parmesan crust

stuffed courgette flowers with a parmesan crust

Serves 2 as a starter

 INGREDIENTS

4 baby courgettes with flowers attached

stuffed courgette flowers with a parmesan crust

Ingredients  for the flowers filling

100g marscapone cheese (or ricotta – or even Philly!)

50g feta cheese (or goats cheese)  – finely crumbled

2 anchovy filets – finely chopped

green part of a spring onion – finely sliced (or dsp of chopped chives)

leaves from 3-4 stalks of tarragon – finely chopped (or you could use fresh basil)

small bunch flat leaf parsley – leaves picked and finely chopped

zest of half a lemon – finely grated

freshly cracked black pepper

stuffed courgette flowers with a parmesan crust

Ingredients for the parmesan crust

 

1 large free range egg

1 tbsp cornflower

25g finely grated parmesan

1 tbsp breadcrumbs

½ tsn dried red chilli flakes

fresh cracked black pepper

stuffed courgette flowers with a parmesan crust

To fry

olive oil

sunflower/vegetable oil

stuffed courgette flowers with a parmesan crust

To serve

pinch sea salt

½ lemon

nasturtium flowers if available.

stuffed courgette flowers with a parmesan crust

 METHOD

You might find courgette flowers at a farmers’ market (if you live in Dulwich or another trendy location…) but even I have to admit that, unless you grow courgettes yourself, this is going to be challenging. However, it is unbelievably summery and beautiful (like Brenda’s latest frock…) and guests or a paramour, will be bowled over – and in the case of the latter, will definitely make the effort worthwhile in terms of the quality of your evening later on …… Anyway, moving swiftly forward

1)   Gently open the courgette flowers to snip the stamens  off  – they’re not poisonous, but they’re rather bitter (unlike Brenda, who is both…) Wipe all over and remove any insects.

2)   Combine all the ingredients for the flower filling in a bowl and stir/beat until  smooth. Check seasoning although it’s unlikely any salt will be needed due to the feta and anchovy

3)   Combine in a separate bowl (long enough to accommodate the full length of the courgette with its flower attached) the dry ingredients for the parmesan crust (again, careful with salt, due to the Parmesan) ….

4)   ….and in another bowl, similarly long, crack the egg and gently beat

5)   Spoon or pipe the flower filling mix into the courgette flower – you should get 1-2 tsp mix into each one. Carefully fold the petals over the mix and twist the (usually four) tips together to seal

6)   Heat a medium frying pan with enough olive/vegetable oil (you can use which combo you like but some olive oil for its flavour is nice) to cover the bottom of the pan to a depth of about 1cm

7)   While that’s getting up to temperature, dip each courgette (with attached stuffed flower) into the egg and then into the cheesy crumb mix.

8)   Once the oil is at 180C (or hot enough to brown a cube of bread in about  1 minute, if you haven’t got a thermometer), gently lower the courgettes into the oil and shallow fry . After 2 minutes, turn and do the same on the other side

9)   After 4 minutes in total, the courgettes will be a lovely light golden brown at which point they should be removed from the pan and laid on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil

10)   Serve immediately with a pinch of sea salt, a squeeze of lemon and a couple of nasturtiums if you have them.

stuffed courgette flowers with a parmesan crust

 

 

 

Sugared Rose Petals

fanny and brendas sugared rose petals

This week I have been able to have some quiet time in the house without Fanny thumping around the place swilling back the alcohol and threatening another house full of undesirables from the wrong side of the tracks. Sorry but it had to be said. Anyway this week she went off to stay with Mrs Clam (see previous postings about the ghastliest landlady in Brighton ) and I had peace and quiet.
I stared out of the french windows and chanced on the abundant roses which are flowering prolifically at the moment.

And that set me thinking. A lot of the shop bought rose flavoured items are just too strong and perfumed for my pleasure. It’s strange because although it must be one of my favourite fragrances, it doesn’t always translate in the mouth. It would seem that the mouth is full of receptors and much more finely attuned to taste and flavour than our nostrils are for fragrance.

So I set about making some sugared rose petals. I snatched some of the more perfumed heads off Fanny’s most precious roses and carefully pulled them apart. Not all roses have the same texture flower head – for instance one of the roses rejected the coating of syrup that I used on the others before the sugar dipping. I wasn’t having any of that so I beat an egg and covered those said same rose petals in egg wash. Funnily enough they were more obedient this time. The roses were then dipped in caster sugar on both sides and then left to dry on some greaseproof paper overnight.

So: just to sum up the process:

Gather your fragrant pesticide free roses and pull the heads apart.
Get a brush and coat them in a simple syrup or egg wash.
Dip them both sides in sugar (I used caster – some people prefer granulated)
Lay flat on greaseproof paper
Leave flat to dry overnight or 24 hours if still sticky
Place in airtight jar and use quickly (within a week)- they won’t last long.

Enjoy the perfumed aroma which is subtle and very beautiful.